Why Graduation Isn’t All it’s Jacked Up to Be.
It’s not the diploma, but what has been learnt in its pursuit. As far as I was concerned, I had a very fulfilling journey.
Why was it that I didn’t feel all that celebratory, then? I had learnt lessons! Lots of them!
A graduation ceremony was supposed to be like enjoying the view after having climbed a mountain.
Yet, that wasn’t quite the best fitting metaphor since whilst graduating, I was still stuck in thinking ahead. It was difficult to truly look back and recognize my previous efforts.
Suddenly, I felt silently embarrassed at myself. I was sat thinking of myself, certain that this day was going to be worth all my efforts. Deflated, I hadn’t realized that I had made a 4-year-commitment climax into receiving a diploma.
The diploma, now, an anticlimactic end to a highly memorable journey.
Was this journey going to be made anyways without the diploma? Yes. Was it any less with it? No… Yet I was still sitting there, with my ‘empty’ diploma wishing I hadn’t glorified this day to the extent that I had. It felt almost insulting that my 4 years had been summed up in a few hours, and a rolled up piece of paper. A rolled up piece of paper that attempted to stamp my journey as ‘good enough’ and ejected me into the pile of students who were in likeness, ‘good enough’.
That day, I had learnt one more lesson. It was to be my first lesson as a graduate.
Nothing can amount to the value of the knowledge you learn everyday, not even a prestigious diploma. This knowledge is what you celebrate, not moving onto a new chapter”–whatever that even means, not “graduating,” and definitely not receiving a diploma.
Thankfully, I also realized that this lesson-learnt drives into one of the core principles of “wandering.” We must wander, and celebrate not trivial accomplishments, but the joy of wandering when we are able to do so.